Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Physics and Applied Physics

First Advisor

Dr. Shiv N. Khanna

Second Advisor

Dr. Marilyn F. Bishop

Third Advisor

Dr. Alenka Luzar


Quantum confinement in small metal clusters leads to a bunching of states into electronic shells reminiscent of shells in atoms. The addition of ligands can tune the valence electron count and electron distribution in metal clusters. A combined experimental and theoretical study of the reactivity of methanol with AlnIm clusters reveals that ligands can enhance the stability of clusters. In some cases the electronegative ligand may perturb the charge density of the metallic core generating active sites that can lead to the etching of the cluster. Also, an investigation is conducted to understand how the bonding scheme of a magnetic dopant evolves as the electronic structure of the host material is varied. By considering VCun+, VAgn+, and VAun+ clusters, we find that the electronic and atomic structure of the cluster plays a major role in determining how an impurity will couple to its surroundings.


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